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Olivier Courson Appointed Culture, Communication, Digital Senior Advisor to Emmanuel Macron’s Government

41 minutes ago

Olivier Courson, the former chairman-ceo of Studiocanal, has been appointed as a senior advisor on culture, communications and digital regulation, reporting to new French prime minister Edouard Philippe.

In his new position, Courson will advise and if necessary arbitrate – in the case of discrepencies between ministries – on a ample remit of issues crucial to the future of film and TV in France. He reports to Philippe, responsible for implementing in a mid-term the long-term vision for France and France’s place in the world set out by Emmanuel Macron who won France’s presidential elections on May 7.

That will give Courson a say in some of the huge issues which Macron’s government is expected to tackle, led by France’s expansion in the digital domain, a priority for Macron.

In early declarations as France’s new culture minister, Françoise Nyssen, has confirmed that she will lead the debate on »


- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy

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Film Review: ‘Wonder Woman’

3 hours ago

It may have taken four films to get there, but the DC Extended Universe has finally produced a good old-fashioned superhero. Sure, previous entries in the Warner Bros. assembly line have given us sporadically successful, demythified takes on Batman and Superman, but they’ve all seemed skeptical, if not downright hostile, toward the sort of unabashed do-gooderism that DC Comics’ golden-age heroes exemplified. Never prone to stewing in solitude, and taking more notes from Richard Donner than from Christopher Nolan, Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” provides a welcome respite from DC’s house style of grim darkness — boisterous, earnest, sometimes sloppy, yet consistently entertaining — with star Gal Gadot proving an inspired choice for this avatar of truth, justice and the Amazonian way.

Although Gadot’s Diana Prince had a decent chunk of screentime in last year’s “Batman v. Superman,” “Wonder Woman” assumes no foreknowledge of any previous franchise entry — or of the character herself, »


- Andrew Barker

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Film Review: ‘Churchill’

9 hours ago

In a historical biopic, nothing can shed light on a legendary figure — or, at least, knock him off his plaster-saint pedestal — quite like being depicted as a stooge, a bully, and a fool. In “Churchill,” a drama that unfolds during the 96 hours leading up to D-Day, Brian Cox plays Winston Churchill with roaring conviction, all fire and bluster and lion-of-Britain piss and vinegar. Yet for most of the film, he isn’t a valiant leader charting a course toward victory — he’s the one man standing in the way of it.

Churchill, the Prime Minister of Britain, is absolutely sure that the massive plan code-named Operation Overlord, which is set to kick off on June 6, 1944, with 250,000 Allied troops storming the beaches of Normandy, is a disaster in the making. He’s convinced that it will result not only in massive casualties, but in the Allied forces losing the war. “Churchill” is a small, »


- Owen Gleiberman

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Box Office: ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Leads Slowest Memorial Day Weekend in Almost Two Decades

15 hours ago

This Memorial Day weekend signals a sluggish end to a dreary summer box office start. This four-day weekend’s total domestic earnings ($172.3 million) are the lowest recorded since 1999 ($142.5 million) when “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” opened in first place.

The lone bright spot of this summer so far is Disney and Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” which is holding onto second place over the holiday weekend, earning an additional $25 million from 3,871 locations. Its total domestic cume stands at over $338 million, and worldwide it’s made over $788 million, passing the original “Guardians” movie ($773 million worldwide).

Disney also took the top slot this weekend with “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” the fifth installation in the franchise starring Johnny Depp. The swashbuckling adventure picked up $77 million over the four-day weekend from 4,276 locations. However, most of the film’s sales are coming from overseas »


- Seth Kelley

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Concert Review: ‘La La Land’ Live is a Meta, Magical Experience at the Hollywood Bowl

15 hours ago

“‘La La Land’ in Concert: A Live to Film Celebration” kicked off its tour at the Hollywood Bowl over the weekend.

It was a meta moment: a film about making it in showbiz opening at a legendary venue usually reserved for the most successful acts.

Of course, Best Picture Oscar gaffe withstanding, “La La Land” has had an incredibly successful year. Damien Chazelle’s valentine to Los Angeles and movie musicals has developed a cult following, as evidenced by the sea of yellow dresses — similar to the worn by Emma Stone in the film’s posters — at Friday’s and Saturday’s performances.

Indeed, Stone herself was in attendance the second night, as was Chazelle and other celebrities including Topher Grace.

Related

City of Los Angeles Awards Its Love to ‘La La Land

They joined more than 17,000 fans to see the film’s Oscar-winning composer, Justin Hurwitz, conduct a full »


- Lawrence Yee

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Conecta Fiction: ‘Ex Reo,’ ‘Canfranc Station,’ ‘Parallel’ Make Sgae Showcase Cut

17 hours ago

Madrid — “Ex Reo,” “Canfranc Station: Forward Escape” and “Parallel” feature among six TV fiction series developed at Spain’s General Society of Spanish Authors’ Foundation that will be pitched at June’s Conecta Fiction, a new international co-production and networking TV event targeting drama from Latin America and Spain.

Conecta Fiction runs June 20-23, the Sgae pitching sessions take place on June 21.

Playing off the huge interest in upscale fiction among key established and new players in the region, the event looks set to attract a near who’s who of major fiction series producers and broadcasters from Spain and Latin America, judged from an initial list of near 120 company attendees confirmed by the organization.

Optioned by Jose Manuel Lorenzo’s Madrid-based Dlo, part of France’s Banijay Group from 2013, and written by María Minguez, “Ex-Reo” weighs in as a slice of teasing Valencian Noir. The eight-part, two-season murder-thriller kicks in as Hugo, »


- John Hopewell and Emiliano De Pablos

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Jeune femme’ (Montparnasse Bienvenüe)

18 hours ago

In the final shot of “Jeune femme,” a brittle yet unbreakable young lady named Julia stares directly into the camera, peering out through two differently colored eyes, one brilliant green, the other hazel. You don’t come across such an intense gaze every day, and the same could be said of Julia’s spirit. She’s one in a million, as far as movies are concerned: a wild, well-rounded young female character forced from the passive comforts of a 10-year relationship and now fighting to reinvent herself on the streets of Paris.

Made in France with a modest budget but considerable insight, Cannes Camera d’Or winner “Jeune femme” was directed by La Fémis graduate Léonor Serraille — while pregnant, no less! — and features young women in nearly every creative role, from camera to composer, sound to set design. The presence of strong, capable women across all departments is every bit »


- Peter Debruge

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Festival Divisions Visible at Funeral of Busan Programmer Kim Ji-seok

20 hours ago

Some 400 leading figures from the Asian cinema business attended a memorial service on Monday for Busan festival programmer and co-founder Kim Ji-seok. But the large attendance did little to mask the ongoing divisions in the Korean industry.

Kim died nearly two weeks ago in Cannes. His body was cremated in France and his remains returned to Korea ahead of a three-day funeral that started on Saturday. It concluded in a service held at the spectacular, downtown, Busan Cinema Center.

Festival chairman and co-founder, Kim Dong-ho led the proceedings. Ousted former festival director, Lee Yong-kwan, former Busan Film Commission head Oh Seok-geun, and Kim’s son were chief mourners.

Lee refused handshakes with Busan city mayor Seo Byung-soo, who precipitated the festival’s three-year crisis by censoring its program, and with Kim Dong-ho, who returned to the festival as a steadying hand after the crisis erupted. Lee also ducked »


- Sonia Kil

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Fox Joins Tencent in Chinese Web Movie Production Slate

21 hours ago

Youth Tencent, part of China’s giant Tencent games and social media group, has amassed an impressive group of producers and investors for the first edition of its online movie production initiative.

Twentieth Century Fox offshoot, Fox International Productions along with Sina Entertainment and iQIYI are among the partners on the 10-film Flying Wings (aka Bi Yi) slate. Other partner companies include Xinpianchang which is facilitating production; Bole Pictures and Good Fellow Pictures, providing marketing and promotion support.

Properties are drawn from anime titles on Tencent’s Comic and Animation platform and are made on relatively low budgets by film makers with an average age of 30. Chinese director Zhao Tianyu, Japanese producer Takashige Ichise, and director Yao Tingting serve as executive producers.

With titles including “Twin Detectives,” “The Innocent City,” “Soul Hunter,” “The Maid Killer,” “Not Married,” “Horror of Flowers,” “Lost In Apocalypse,” “Soul Contract,” “Private Hero,” and “The Mystical Treasure, »


- Patrick Frater

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Fortunata’

28 May 2017 9:50 PM, PDT

In a year when no Italian directors were lucky enough to land in the Cannes competition, the country is done no favors by Sergio Castellitto’s presence in Un Certain Regard. From “You Can’t Save Yourself Alone” to “Don’t Move,” the director’s work never strays from the kind of middlebrow aesthetic convinced of its own depth — only there’s no depth there. And though his collaborations with novelist wife Margaret Mazzantini are seen as prestige productions at home and tend to get big rollouts, their pat psychologizing results in unsatisfactory characters who careen down paths designed with elaborate, artificial, and deeply uninteresting detours. Even given limited expectations, it’s safe to say “Fortunata” has Mazzantini’s sloppiest script so far, about a hairdresser determined to open a beauty parlor but waylaid by an ill-advised (and truly ridiculous) hook-up with her kid’s shrink.

Winner of the Un Certain Regard acting prize, »


- Jay Weissberg

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